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How To Save iPad Pages Files to DropBox Using DropDAV

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DropBox is a great service and getting files onto the iPad from your DropBox storage is easy with their free iPad App. But what about going the other way from an app like Pages? Thanks to a service called DropDAV it is pretty easy too.

DropDAV

DropDAV can be used to copy files from the iPad to a computer via DropBox

First, sign up for a free 2GB DropBox account. Once you have it setup, download the app, linked above. That way you can access your files on the iPad. To save files to the iPad you can then sign up for a DropDAV account. The cost is 30% of whatever you are paying for DropBox. So if you just use the free DropBox service then DropDAV is free too. Get the premium vesions of DropBox and you will pay 30% of the monthly/yearly fee.

So, now go set up DropDAV. On that page you will use your DropBox user name (your email address) and password to connect the two services. Go back to the iPad and launch Pages, Numbers or Keynote.

My Documents Share Feature

Use the My Documents Share feature to copy to DropBox using WebDAV

Go to the My Documents screen in pages (tap the button in the upper left corner). There is a copy button at the bottom of that screen on the far left with a box and arrow on it. That’s the iPad share or copy button. Tap it to reveal the above menu and choose “Copy to WebDAV”. The resulting screen will ask you to sign in. Use the server address http://dav.dropdav.com. Then enter your user name and password for DropBox and tap Sign In in the upper right.

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Choose the folder of your choice in DropBox and open files form DropBox. You can edit the file and then go back to My Documents. Hit the share button and copy the file back to the DropBox folder of your choice. You will have a choice of which file format to use. For example in Pages you can save files as a Pages file, a PDF or a Word file. The same is true for Numbers but instead of Word it has Excel and Keynote as PowerPoint. If it has a file of the same name it will ask you to replace it. The edited file will overwrite the original.

It works great. This is now our chosen method of saving files created or edited in Pages, Numbers or Keynote to DropBox for editing on the Mac.

Warning: There is an issue right now with editing iPad created/edited Pages files on a Mac. When opened on a Mac, the Pages file will be corrupted. You will see some really strange behavior, so don’t spend too much time formatting as you will likely lose it. The workaround is to just open the file edited on the iPad from the DropBox folder on the Mac. Copy everything and then create a new Pages document on the Mac and paste it there. If you have already done a lot of formatting you may want to copy to DropDAV as a Word file if you plan to edit it further on the Mac. Use PDF if it is in final form.

It is ridiculous that Apple has not acknowledged or fixed the above issue, but hopefully they will soon.

Kevin loves notebooks, tablets, gadgets and photography. He grew up with computers starting out on a Vic 20 and Commodore 64. The first computer he owned himself was an 8086 Compaq Deskpro. His foray into tablet computing began when he bought a Samsung Q1 Ultra. The smartphone market opened up for him with his Palm Treo 600.

5 Comments

  1. guesto

    03/23/2011 at 3:02 am

    Use dropbox on a daily basis… thanks for the tip. Will check out DropDAV for sure..

    Shameless plug: If anyone wants to try Dropbox but does not have an account please feel free to use my referral link: http://db.tt/XFD88gF

    You’ll get an additional 250 MB when signing up and so will I. :-)

  2. VuLN

    03/23/2011 at 3:50 pm

    Ok. thank post.

  3. Guest

    03/26/2011 at 5:32 pm

    Great post. Thank you!

  4. guest

    04/08/2012 at 9:42 am

    worked perfectly!  THANK YOU!

  5. Brian Greenwood

    09/28/2012 at 6:34 pm

    It’s worth noting that if you have IOS 6 (may work in IOS 5 but never noticed it) and have installed the dropbox app – you now have the option to “Open in another app” – opening it into your drop box app will then upload it to your selected folder location.

    Likewise you can open the key note (which you can preview in drop box) into keynot then.

    Nice :)

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